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South Africa qualify for Cricket World Cup after Ireland-Bangladesh washout

South Africa secured direct qualification on Tuesday for the 50-over Cricket World Cup in India later this year after the first one-day international between Ireland and Bangladesh ended in a no-result washout.

Ireland had to win all three matches in a series against Bangladesh taking place at Chelmsford, the headquarters of English county Essex, if they were to move up from 11th place in the points table.

Even if Ireland now take the series 2-0, they cannot surpass South Africa in eighth place in the World Cup Super League (WCSL) standings, AFP reports.

Ireland will now have to compete in the June 18-July 9 qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe, that also includes former champions West Indies and Sri Lanka.

The Irish were 65-3 in the 17th over, chasing Bangladesh’s 246-9, made from a full 50 overs, when bad light and rain halted play at 4:34pm local time (1534 GMT).

A minimum of 20 overs had to be bowled in Ireland’s innings for a result to be declared under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method for rain-affected matches.

But the fixture was called off at 1800 GMT when the umpires deemed conditions too wet to restart play.

Josh Little — fresh from starring in the Indian Premier League — led Ireland’s attack with 3-61, with two wickets apiece for Graham Hume and Mark Adair as Bangladesh were restricted to a seemingly modest total on a good pitch.

Mushfiqur Rahim celebrated his 36th birthday by top-scoring for the Tigers with 61 in front of a crowd of some 3,000 at Chelmsford, mainly consisting of Bangladesh fans.

Najmul Hossain Shanto made 44.

Ireland, however, soon found themselves in trouble at 27-2 following the loss of experienced opener Paul Stirling and captain Andrew Balbirnie.

The series continues on Friday.

The first spots in the 10-team World Cup go to the top eight finishers of the WCSL, a competition that has run over the last three years.

Reigning champions England, India, New Zealand, Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan have already guaranteed their places.